How Do Christian Women Treat Non-Christian Husbands?

A big question mark
A big question mark
By EnhuiMay 4th, 2021

How do Christian women treat their unbelieving husbands? This is a common problem in many churches where there are more female believers than male ones. As a result, many female faithful marry non-Christians or even men of different faiths.

In fact, it was a problem that the churches also faced in early days. In this regard, the apostle Peter gave this instruction: “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands. So that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

From Peter's teaching we can see that female believers should obey their husbands even if they have not yet believed in the Lord. This explains at least two things: One is to warn the sisters not to always think of dealing with their unbelieving husbands in opposition to them. This ungodly practice should be stopped immediately and replaced by a prayer for their husbands. Even at times, they should imitate the Lord Jesus by bearing the cross for their husbands.

The other is that a wife must obey her husband, whether he believes in the Lord or not. Why? Because Peter’ teaching applies not only to couples who both believe in the Lord, but also to couples in which only one believes or neither of them believes in the Lord.

Of course, there may be another good result, if a believing woman is willing to obey her unbelieving husband according to the Bible's teaching.

This good result is that an unbelieving husband will be converted to believe in Jesus without words by his wife’s chaste behavior and God-fearing heart. He will be influenced by her good words and deeds, seeing the truth of God.

Of course, we must also know that a wife cannot change her husband or even his spiritual life. No one can play this role, but only God can do. Her good deeds and reverence only have the effect of a witness and influence. Do not hold the illusion that you can change your husband's life, otherwise you will end up with nothing.

Here is an example of one female believer. When she was in love with an unbeliever, she was confident that she could lead him to believe in the Lord or to even serve God together, with her own wisdom and her boyfriend’s love for her. However, the good times did not last long and the freshness was gone. Instead, the daily chores such as firewood, rice, oil and salt, made her husband change his temperament. He was no longer as considerate as before, and he no longer accompanied the sisters to services. The situation became even more serious after the sister gave birth to her child. The first step was not to accompany her to gatherings and services, then later to stop her from attending them. It further worsened when she did not heed to his demands, from obstruction to countless beatings and scolding. So her marriage ended in divorce three years later.

The lesson to be learned from this case is never to think that you can change your husband. The best way of changing him is to lead him to know, believe in and rely on the Lord, not just by word-of-mouth, but also by chastity and reverence.

(The author is a pastor in Jiangsu and the article is published by Gospel Times.)

-Translated by Abigail Wu

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